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Brazilian Folklore and Street Culture in Amazing Os Gêmeos’ Works

17 October 2016
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Theodor Nott
Theodor Nott

‘Os Gemeos’ is translated as ‘The Twins’.

Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo have worked together since birth. As children growing up in the streets, they developed a distinct way of playing and communicating through artistic language. With the coming of hip hop culture in Brazil in the 1980s, Os Gêmeos created a perfect way to express themselves. Together they invented the various techniques of painting, drawing and sculpture. In the world of violence, drugs, and economic problems, Os Gêmeos introduced works of street art, filled with optimism and pride of self.

Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo started painting graffiti in São Paulo as teenagers, working on city streets for over ten years. Today they have held numerous solo and group shows in museums and galleries in several countries such as Cuba, Chile, the United States of America, Italy, Spain, England, Germany, Lithuania and Japan. On huge wooden panels, lanky yellow figures dressed in peacock patterns and paisley strut and breakdance… To understand the work of Os Gêmeos , it is necessary to allow mind to be replaced by the imagination.  You should feel first and understand later.

They never stopped doing graffiti, but over the years, this universe created by the duo, with which they dream and get inspiration from, overtook the streets, becoming a language of its own with so many other influences and cultures, and it is constantly evolving.

They believe in the encounters and experiences that life offers are natural and delicate. Today, recognized and admired both nationally and internationally, the artists utilize this combined visual language, improvisation and a sense of playfulness to intuitively create a variety of projects worldwide.

Known for their public murals and gallery success, Os Gêmeos have garnered criticism from other graffiti artists who consider street art anti-commercial by nature. But what the brothers offer are new ways of imagining this world, not finite critiques of it. They lead us into parallel realities that grab the past, remix it, and make it fresh. There is no protest in their new show, but there is a sense of titillating creativity — floor to ceiling — that cries out: More is possible. Seeing the pure joy of their work, it's no surprise that their energy would still go beyond sanctioned walls.


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